The Bronx martial arts expert busted in an alleged plot to build a secret Al Qaeda training camp is a well-known city jazz musician who has backed greats like Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter, friends said yesterday.
Tarik Shah, 42, has played bass at local clubs for years, and fellow musicians said they’ve never heard him espouse an allegiance to Osama Bin Laden.
“This man talks about music. That’s all he talks about,” said pianist Donald Smith, 61, who earlier this month played with Shah at St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem. “The only thing we know is he is a devout Muslim, loves God. He loves his family.”
Last year, Tarik Shah played at a “Fighting for Peace” concert at New York’s Knitting Factory, held to honour the memory of Daniel Pearl, the US journalist killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. See here.
Obviously this was just a cunning ruse because, according to an undercover FBI agent, two weeks earlier Shah had been boasting about cutting people’s throats. See Jihad Watch, 1 June 2005